Former champions Highlanders needed a bit of luck to put to bed their poor travelling record after an own goal by goalkeeper Geofrey Chitsumba handed them a Chibuku Super Cup first round win at Gibbo Stadium yesterday.

The 2019 Chibuku Cup champions have struggled to win league matches outside Bulawayo in recent years. Interestingly, their last win away was at Gibbo back in July 2018.

Bosso assistant coach Joel Luphahla could not hide the joy and relief of finally winning on the road.

“We are very happy as the Highlanders family, it’s been long time coming. But to come here and play the way we played away, the confidence being shown by the players, for us to come here and do a good job like we did makes us very proud as the technical and Highlanders family,” he told journalists after the game.

“We are happy that we are giving our fans something to go back smiling about. This victory is for the fans we are saying enjoy this moment and I hope this a turnaround of good things to come.”

An entertaining first half began with both teams who have won the tournament before looking to get an early but it was the visitors who looked likely to score first each time they went on attack.

And indeed, they did albeit under fortuitous circumstances as Stanley Ngala’s header came off the cross bar hit and hit a hapless Chitsumba’s back and bounced into the net 25 minutes into the match.

Triangle had penalty shout waved away after the half hour mark after the lively Matthew Hlabati went down in the box under a heavy challenge.

The hosts fashioned many opportunities with Tawanda Chisi and Emmaculate Mawuna coming close.

But Highlanders could have doubled the lead on the stroke of halftime but for the brilliance of Chitsumba who denied Lynoth Chikuhwa’s first time volley with some brilliant reflexes.

Triangle made a double substitution at the break, bringing in Arnold Bhero and Donald Ngoma for Mawuna and Tinotenda Mutyambizi as they looked to push for an equaliser.

However, the hosts best chance came in the 72nd minute but Bhero’s sent his effort wide of goal with Ariel Sibanda beaten.

A Ngoma stoppage time header was easily dealt with by Sibanda.

Triangle coach Jairos Tapera felt his team was unlucky to lose the game.

“I think overall we played excellently well from the first half to the second half. We had our moments where we thought we could have scored. The scored that one goal but I think we matched them in all departments. Second half we were even better than them and last minute we could have scored but that is football,” he said.

Teams:

Triangle: G Chitsumba, J Mukombwe, T Musariri, T Chisi (A Chiveya 60′), K Gwao, T Mkunga, E Karembo, R Madamombe (M Ngwenya 60′), T Mutyambizi(D Ngoma 46′), E Mawuna( G Bhero 46′), M Hlabati

Highlanders: A Sibanda, D Mhindirira (B Sibanda 90′), L Chikuhwa(W Nyavaya 75′), R Lunga (R Kutsanzira 82′), N Masuku, G Makaruse, A Mbeba, P Muduhwa, S Ngala, D Mukuli, M Ndlovu

Source Newsday